Kerala

Capital’s district panchayat to provide facilities for online classes

Local bodies in Kerala have been on their toes ever since the COVID-19 outbreak happened, managing community kitchens, running quarantine centres, disinfecting public places, along with handling their routine work ranging from sanitation to civil works. Their latest responsibility is in ensuring the necessary facilities so that not a single student misses out on the online classes which began last week on a pilot basis.

Students who do not have any facilities are being identified and television (TV) sets, laptops or smartphones are being arranged from the own funds or through contribution from sponsors, individuals as well as organisations.

Adivasi students

In Thiruvananthapuram district panchayat, comprising 73 grama panchayats and excluding urban local bodies, the initial list consisted of 19,671 students mainly in the adivasi colonies and in the coastal regions, without access to a television or any Internet facility.

However, after making the first round of arrangements and further scrutiny, the list has now come down to 8,600 students.

In the Thiruvananthapuram city Corporation limits, the initial list, collected from the heads of each of the schools in the region, consists of more than 4,000 students, which will further be scrutinised with the help of the respective ward councillors.

“Out of the 8,600 students in our region, 266 are from adivasi areas. In the advasi regions, we have been running Vanajyoti centres for the past three years, to provide evening tuition and snacks for the students. Television sets will be arranged in all the 15 such centres for accessing Victres channel. In the other regions, we have the community study centres, local libraries or anganwadis, where television will be arranged. Already, television have been placed in 26 such centres, where 5 or 10 students can come together and study. For students staying in houses in secluded areas, we will provide laptops or smartphones, although connectivity issues have to be addressed,” says Thiruvananthapuram district panchayat president V.K. Madhu.

In 42 coastal villages in the district, the project is being implemented through 55 fishing societies.

Coop societies

Co-operative societies are also helping out the local bodies in other areas. The district panchayat plans to buy around 300 television sets for the purpose. But, it still has to follow the tendering processes, which might take around two weeks.

With revenue running dry and expenses shooting up, the local bodies are expecting individuals and organisations to sponsor television sets, smartphones or laptops.

The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation has already issued such a call to the public to reach out to the local body (No: 9496434409, 9496434410).

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 3:27:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/capitals-district-panchayat-to-provide-facilities-for-online-classes/article31767776.ece

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